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olympic golf venue

IOC warning: Holding Olympic golf event at current venue is ‘extremely irresponsible’

Japanese politician Shigefumi Matsuzawa has written to IOC president Thomas Bach to ask for the Tokyo 2020 golf events to be moved from Kasumigaseki
 

Olympic bosses have been told that holding the Tokyo 2020 golf events at Kasumigaseki Golf Club could lead to fatalities.

The course, around 30 miles north of Japan’s capital city in Saitama, will host both the men’s and women’s events for next year’s Games, but politician Shigefumi Matsuzawa, a member of Japan’s House of Councillors, has written to IOC President Thomas Bach outlining his concerns of heatwaves at that time of year.

In a letter obtained by Reuters, Matsuzawa wrote: “The issue of measures against extremely hot weather is an especially serious problem.

“In 2017, a research team from Tokyo Metropolitan University published a paper … with observation results indicating that Kawagoe City in Saitama Prefecture, where Kasumigaseki is located, is the hottest place in Japan.

“The period between late July and early August is the hottest period in Japan’s summer, and so it is no exaggeration to say that forcibly holding an outdoor sporting event in the hottest region of Japan at this time is extremely irresponsible.”

The International Olympic Committee have already moved the marathon and race walking events to the cooler northern island of Hokkaido.

Matsuzawa’s biggest concern is not only for the players, but for volunteers and spectators who, without clubhouse access, would have little escape from the heat and humidity.

He added in his letter that the average temperature over the past three years during the scheduled competition dates — July 30-August 2 for men and August 5-8 for women — had been 31.7°C.

“Ambulances and hospitals will be unable to cope and with heat stroke patients collapsing one after the other,” he added. “The possibility of fatalities occurring cannot be ruled out.”

Matsuzawa also recommended moving the golf to Wakasu Golf Links in Tokyo Bay, where temperatures average 4°C cooler than Kasumigaseki, or to the central mountain regions of Hakone and Nagano.

Alex Perry

Alex Perry

Alex has been the editor of National Club Golfer since 2017. A Devonian who enjoys wittering on about his south west roots, Alex moved north to join NCG after more than a decade in London, the last five of which were with ESPN. Away from golf, Alex follows Torquay United and spends too much time playing his PlayStation or his guitar and not enough time practising his short game.

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